That’s the number of dollars committed to the Luke 4 Challenge as of 5pm Saturday afternoon. When Bobby finished the video on Saturday morning, there were still commitment cards coming in, so the video didn’t reflect the latest numbers.
I think if you would have told me ten years ago that we were going to give nearly 13 million dollars to build a place called The Healing Center for our city, drill wells in Nigeria, and create an awesome environment for the next generation, I would have thought, “What are you smoking?”
I have such a mix of emotions right now. I am so impressed by the sacrifices people made toward something that was really outside of themselves, that is, not about their personal need. I’m amazed that people caught a glimpse of a vision and responded. Yesterday I just wanted to pogo during the worship, but I am getting older (and then I think: So?). I also talked with Anita about those who sat on the fringes and really didn’t take part…I wondered how they experienced the celebration. It made me a bit sad. And last, I have to admit there’s a measure of emotional relief…not so much that we made the goal, but that I’m not crazy after all.
But mostly I simply feel awed by God. During the series, I must have read 2 Chronicles 5 a dozen times at home (and chapter 6 isn’t half-bad either—Solomon’s prayer will reorient your neurons…and then what follows in 7:1-3 is mind-boggling…). But I love it when they dedicate the temple—they are so thrilled to have a permanent place for the ark of the covenant (representing the presence of God in their midst)—with all the singers and 120 priests blowing trumpets (you think our worship band is loud?), and then the glory of God fills the temple and the priests can’t even stand up. Now that’s a Pentecostal church-experience.
I really sensed the glory of God filling VCC during each of the celebrations. I don’t know how many people came up to talk to me who were just shaking…no, vibrating…and ready to burst into tears at what they were experiencing.
One of the best was a man whom I had never met before grabbed me in the atrium and said, “I’m seventy years old and I’ve never experienced what you talked about with the Holy Spirit…until today” and then he and his wife burst into tears. He said, “Can you imagine being seventy and never experiencing God like that until now?” I said, “Hey, better late than never!” and I really meant it.
I think this was one for the history books.
…and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. (2 Chronicles 5:12-14 New American Standard Bible)